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SP-Ultra 4LF: Shelf Life Test

Tim Gilbert

People have asked about the shelf life of our SP-Ultra 4LF.  It's a fair question.  Our accelerated testing indicated it should be good for at least six months. But frankly, we didn't really know.

So we mixed up a batch and left on the shelf in our darkroom. It's just been sitting there waiting at room temperature for the last five months.  Here's a shot we processed with it today:

(Kodak Tri-X 320; 5x7, shot at ISO 400; processed 1+9, 6:30, 68F, agitation: 30+10/60 in the SP-8x10 tray.)

It may not be on par with Ansel but it proves that the developer still works. You may ask: "But how does it compare to when it was fresh?"

Again, a fair question.  After all, a photo is very subjective subject. So we pulled out the step wedge and ran our standard density vs exposure test:

Wow. As you can see, there was basically no change in performance. So our six month estimate was probably conservative. We'll let the pouch sit on the shelf for another sixty days and test it again.


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